NABOKV-L post 0018782, Sun, 15 Nov 2009 14:40:21 +0300

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[NABOKOV-L] [QUERY] Balagur/ Balaganchik
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I do realize that it is foolish to depart from transposed verbal shapes in a completely foreign language to me, and metamorphose them from, say "balagur" into "balagan" - a word that might be pertinent in relation to Van's harlequinesque act as Mascodagama.

Dear Jansy,

I mention balagan (low farce) and Balaganov, a character in Ilf and Petrov's "The Golden Calf" (1931), in my article THE NAKED TRUTH, OR THE READER'S SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION IN ADA'S QUELQUE CHOSE UNIVERSITY (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/sklyarenko7.doc). Btw., if I were writing it now, I would have added another epigraph: Le fruit de l'amour mondain n'est autre chose que la jouissance. Brantôme

An anagram that may amuse you: BALAGAN + URSUS + MARINA = BALAGUR + SUSANNA + IRMA (Ursus, Lat., "bear;" a character in Hugo's L'homme qui rit; a restaurant in Ada; Marina, Susanna and Irma are female given names)

As to Balaganchik, it is a play in verse, interspersed with prose monologues, by Blok (1906). It was dedicated to Meyerhold who produced the play's stage version. It shouldn't be confused with Blok's poem of the same title (1905), or Balagan, another short poem by Blok (1906).

best,
Alexey

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